Many of our guests who travel with us for our kayaking and cultural tours in Bhutan opt to use Bangkok, Thailand as their gateway city. We’ve always suggested they spend some extra days in Bangkok so as to feel more rested when they do travel on to Bhutan. Staying in Bangkok doesn’t mean you have to haul all of your luggage around the city with you, here is a suggested alternative.
Most taxis in Bangkok are the size of a Toyota Corolla and we’ve spent our fair share of time upon arrival at the city’s airport showing doubting taxi drivers how to stuff all of our luggage, including a paddle bag, into their cabs. We would then repeat this when we returned to the airport just a few days later for an early morning departure on to Bhutan. This past year Mary and I finally figured out how to take advantage of the Suvarnabhumi airport’s “left Baggage” service so we could go into town with just a daypack each.
There are two locations for baggage storage in the airport, one on the 2nd floor for arrivals and another on the 4th floor for departures. We use the one on the 4th floor as it makes it easier for us on departure day. It is located at the end of the “P” row of counters and is open 24/7 and cost is roughly $4.50 U.S./large bag/day in 2018.
Here’s what to expect. When you first arrive in Thailand you’ll have to go through immigration. Once your passport has been stamped you’ll see some money exchange kiosks just before you get to the baggage carousels. We’ll usually exchange some money there. You might find a better rate at your hotel or somewhere else in the city but you are going to need something for taxis and perhaps a bite to eat and these kiosks are a pretty convenient place to do it. Once we claim our bags from the carousel we find a quiet corner of the baggage area where we can open them up and shuffle things around, taking just what we need for our short and usually hot stay in Bangkok and load it into our large daypacks or small duffel that we’ll take with us in the taxi. The rest goes into our luggage that we’ll be storing at the airport and is locked. We’ll then use the luggage carts to get upstairs, check in our left luggage and head back downstairs to where we can catch a cab to our hotel.
When you return to the airport to fly out again just grab a cart, go back to the kiosk where you left your bags, pay and claim them. From there it’s off to your counter and check in. Don’t forget to factor in a little extra time to reclaim your bags in case they are busy.
Do it this way and you’ll get to travel light to the city, won’t have to pantomime packing a car to a taxi driver and won’t be tripping over bags of clothing meant for the Himalaya in your tropical Bangkok hotel room.
Note: They do have restrictions on some items you can store. For the most part they don’t want you leaving valuables like cameras, documents or electronics. There is a list when you go to check them in. As with any time you entrust someone else with your luggage there can be risks. This is just a suggestion for one way to avoid extra inconvenience while in Bangkok.
Here is a link to the Left Baggage site:
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